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In 2012 the Computing in Schools project looked at the current provision of education in Computing in UK schools, the Royal Society report was informed by evidence gathered from individuals and organisations with an interest in computing.
Key points of the report include:
Over the past year I have been working with a number of inspirational teachers and had the pleasure of keynoting at the Computing in Schools annual conference. One of the key drivers for me with the children at school is simply getting them inspired and looking at ways of making Computer Science in lessons, exciting interesting and more importantly thought provoking at the impact technology has on everyone lives.
Over the last year I have worked with a number of inspiring teacher from the Microsoft Partners in Learning programme.
One of these teacher is Ray Chambers. Ray has successfully included programming into his curricula using tools such as Kodu, but as they progressed, he didn't want them to be simply complacent or loose interest so he decided to step it up a notch and get his students understanding functions.
He also wanted to start introducing arrays and if statements into their vocabulary. This you may think would be a huge challenge but during BETT last year I introduced Ray to a great friend and fellow Partner in Learning Teacher David Renton and David simply evangelised Ray to the power of the Touch Develop platform.
I am pleased to announce that Ray has now successfully developed an entire Scheme of works for Touchdevelop for the GCSE CS curricula.
The following is a guest Blog by Ray Chambers ICT teacher / Lead Practitioner at Uppingham Community College
To see how each of the lessons map into the new national curriculum, you can follow the links on the images.
Each of the links will take you to the video you need. Alternatively, you can click on the links below in order to go through the scheme of work lesson by lesson.
TouchDevelop is a programming environment that runs on your mobile devices. You write scripts by tapping on the screen. You do not need a separate PC or keyboard or even a PC as Touchdevelop works on any device with a web browser.
Scripts can perform various tasks similar to regular apps. Any TouchDevelop user can install, run, edit, and publish scripts. You can share your scripts with other people by publishing them to the TouchDevelop script bazaar, or by submitting them as an app to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store.
Ray has developed the scheme of work which will allow students to break in slowly and progress, learn and be inspired at each step.
The first lesson starts off by introducing them to variables, backgrounds and sprites. They will be able to add a character into their game and they will be able to use variables to change the height and width of characters. Ray has attached some PDF’s to support and the videos on this page will support the learning. The materials are free to download and let me know if they have been useful.
Lesson 1 – This lesson introduces the basics and shows the environment to students. This lesson should get students creating a background and a character using variables. Click on the resource above for a walk through on creating and setting up the background on program. Click on the resource above for a walk through on creating your own characters / sprites within a game or application.
Lesson 2 – This lesson introduces the game loop event. This tests for interactions over and over to see what is happening. Lessons are taught about IF statements and how to update text. Learn how to add the game loop event. This tests for what is happening (all the time). Think of this as a traffic light sensor which is always looking for what is happening next. Learn how to create text as part of your game. You also learn how to set the text on the text. This activity will allow your students to put things in the correct order in the correct table. Cut out the tiles and mix them up. Your students should be able to re-arrange this into the correct order.
Lesson 3 – This lesson introduces the basics of functions and procedures and shows students how they can update their existing code to be a procedure. Learn how to use some of your existing code and how to change to insert procedures. Learn how to set up a function which uses input and output perimeters. Learn how to use the function you set up in the previous walk through.
Lesson 4 - How to move characters across the screens without input from the user. Here is a quick pop quiz to test what your students have marked so far. Most of the questions ask them to explain the knowledge they’ve gained so that you can judge their answers. Here is a quick guide to changing the X and Y variables of sprites so that they can move on their own. You might like flying objects in a game and this introduces it to students.
Lesson 5 – Users plan and develop a program which will benefit their school. They must design screen shots of their game and talk about how they plan on meeting the requirements. Attached is a proposal which was made for an Appathon competition by me. You can see some of the screen designs. Students can do this task in PowerPoint or on paper. It is something they can use as an idea. Requirements sheet. Students must write out how they plan on meeting the client needs in order to achieve marks for planning. The next lesson will focus on pseudo code.
Lesson 6 – Users plan and develop a program which will benefit their school. They’re required to use Pseudo code during this lesson. They need to think about the code and understand the importance of writing a structure of code before making it. Pseudo Code activity sheet 1 – Get students to write some structured English to help them understand coding. Pseudo Code activity sheet 2 – Get students to underline variables which might be used within Pseudo code.
Lesson 7 – This lesson allows the students to start building their application. The video tutorials are embedded and it is a large file. Alternatively you can watch the video from the tutorials attached.
Lesson 8 – This lesson introduces the final stages of development to students and talks to them about the importance of testing. There are examples of test plans in the slides for you to try with students.
Here are a few Bonus Lessons to support different aspects of the new national curriculum.
Lesson on Algorithms Resource which show you how to make a cup of tea using algorithms Instructions for Resource 1 on making a cup of tea. Students are required to make their own algorithm using this task.
Lesson on Data Types
Lesson on Logic and Logic Gates Logic Gates work sheet to support task. Logic Gates work sheet answers for previous task.
Publishing your App to Windows 8
If you follow these steps, you can publish your own students apps to the Windows store.
This guide was developed as a starter guide for anyone who is working with touch develop and their students.
If you would like more help about Touchdevelop and how Ray is using it in his curricula you can contact him via Microsoft Partners in Learning or his blog at http://raychambers.wordpress.com/
If your a UK teacher, lecturer or researcher and interested in becoming joining the Microsoft Partners in Learning UK team please see http://www.pil-network.com/
If your interested in Touchdevelop please see http://www.touchdevelop.com